The BestNewCar.com Guide to Vehicle Body Styles
What is a crossover, exactly? Have you ever wondered that? This page is here to help you understand what each kind of vehicle is, what they're good for and what they're not so good for. The information below can be considered generally true but not all models fit into one category perfectly.
A sedan is probably what you visualize when you hear the word "car." It's a vehicle with a passenger area that is raised above the hood and trunk areas. Sedans are practical road vehicles.
- Fuel efficiency
- Affordability (purchase price)
- Reduced cargo space
- Reduced head room
Examples of Sedans
- Honda Accord
- Toyota Corolla
- BMW 5 Series
Trucks are sometimes called "pickups" or "pickup trucks." Sometimes, very large, very powerful vehicles are referred to as "trucks." We're talking about light-duty trucks (classes 1-3), in this case. The truck's cargo bed is it's defining feature.
- Ground clearance
- Separation between passenger area and cargo area
- Higher towing and payload capacity
- Higher fuel consumption
- Reduced seating
Examples of Trucks
- Ford F-250
- Chevy Silverado 1500
- Toyota Tacoma
SUV might be the broadest category of body style. An SUV usually looks like a "jeep," with a combined passenger and cargo area. Some SUVs are unibody, built like sedans. Others are body-on-frame, built like trucks. SUVs come in a wide range of sizes, from compact to bus-like. Crossovers are sometimes called SUVs, although crossovers are meant to provide some of the advantages of sedans while also providing some advantages of SUVs.
- Capabilites for off-road travel, towing, or other scenarios
- versatile space due to removable or foldable seats
- Most models are available with AWD or 4WD
- Reduced fuel efficiency
- It can be difficult to choose the right one
- Mazda CX-5
- Ford Escape
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Ford Expedition
"Van" can refer to "minivan," "cargo van," or "passenger van." Minivans are built for families; they are comfortable and practical. Cargo vans are built for carrying lots of cargo and passenger vans typically have seats for 12 to 15 people.
- Lots of seats (or cargo space)
- Efficient but spacious
- Comfort and convenience (especially for minivans)
- Sometimes considered "unsexy"
- Few to choose from
- Honda Odyssey
- Chevrolet Express
- Chrysler Pacifica
Sports cars are meant to be visually appealing. Most have some kind of sport capability. For example, some accelerate quickly. Others have racing suspension so they can go around a track quickly. Many sports cars look a lot like a typical sedan but some have especially aggressive designs.
- Speed and agility for competitions (or just for fun)
- Good looks
- Many have only two doors
- Limited seating
- Limited head room and leg room
- Lower fuel efficiency
- Nissan 370 Z
- Ford Mustang
- Ferrari GTC4Lusso
Click on a category to learn more about a specific vehicle type
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